What you need to know
- Instagram is expanding its test to hide likes to Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand.
- It began testing this feature in Canada back in May.
- The new feature is an effort to make people focus on content and not the number of likes they get.
Instagram has been flirting with a new feature that would hide likes from everyone except the poster. When enabled, the total number of likes on your photos and videos will be hidden from the main feed, profile and permalink pages. Only the owner of the account will be able to view the total number of likes.
It first began testing this in Canada back in May, but now it is expanding it to more countries, including Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand.
The test comes in response to the ever-growing pressure to accumulate likes on your content and the negative impact it can have on your mental health. Study after study has shown that increased social media usage can lead to depression. That's a statistic Instagram and other social media platforms are working on fixing.
According to an Instagram spokesperson:
We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.
Another aspect Instagram has been tackling to make the platform less toxic is to reduce bullying. On July 9, it began rolling out an AI comment feature which would warn users when a comment could be considered harmful. During testing, Instagram found that this warning would often cause users to rethink their comment before posting.
Instagram has also been testing a Restrict mode for bullies on the platform. When a user is restricted, their comments will not be made public unless approved by you, but the restricted user will still see them. Restricted users will also not be able to see when you are active or if you've read a direct message or not. This will allow you to essentially block a user without causing a conflict, in case it is someone you know in real life.